D. Shawn & SOUL
Darius Middleton (24), better known as D. Shawn is a singer/songwriter, producer, vocal teacher, and CEO of D. Shawn & Soul LLC. A graduate from North Carolina Central University with a degree in Music/Vocal Performance and a minor in Jazz Studies, D. Shawn has been a driving up and coming artist; he started singing at the age of four, and has worked with and/or opened up for some of the biggest names in the industry so far such as: 9th Wonder, Musiq Soulchild, Ginuwine, Ty Dolla Sign, Migos and more. Alongside Soul, Middleton currently runs the entire D. Shawn and Soul business, teaches vocal lessons, while having constant performances/studio work. While being a full-time artist, Middleton still finds a way to give to the community; he's currently , a voice/piano instructor at Rock N Roll High School in Apex NC, and prepping for his second tour which starts in November!!
Howard Joyner (27), better known as Soul, is an American keyboard player, record producer, audio engineer, and songwriter. As a former student of North Carolina Central University, studying Music Industry with a concentration in Business/Mass Communications and having a passion for music stemming from an early age, Soul is now the Founder of ‘Give Em Soul’, a music production company based out of Durham,NC.
With these efforts Soul has had the opportunity to collaborate and produce for industry talents including: 9th Wonder, JAMLA records artist Rapsody, Heather Victoria, Khrysis, Elzhi, Amber Navran of Moonchild and a growing list of upcoming artists.
Avery “A-M” Gunn is a 25-year-old producer, composer, and songwriter. His love and passion for music was discovered and cultivated at an early age in church. With the ability to create with extreme versatility he is able to standout amongst a myriad of talents. Growing up in North Jersey he began to discover his love for piano indulging in artist such as Bill Evans, Thelonius Monk, Oscar Peterson and various others. Avery would later relocate to North Carolina where he became heavily influenced by the emerging “trap music” sound.
While attending Elizabeth City State University studying classical piano he began to expound upon different gifts such as rapping, singing, and producing. Artist like Timbaland and Pharrell became the paradigm for his creative aspirations. With his ability to produce, write, sing, rap and play multiple instruments many doors have opened in his favor. In 2016 Avery accompanied pop singer "Tinashe" on her Joyride World Tour , and has also had the opportunity to produce, score and write for films such as “Drumline 3”, “The Perfect Match”, Honey 3 & 4, Chocolate City 3, Being Mary Jane, Gangland: A Love Story and many others. Avery is expecting and working towards a bright and promising future hoping to inspire and honor God with his gifts.
REAL SPILL PANEL
Hope Baxter was born and raised in the “Queen City”, Charlotte, NC. Baxter boasts an array of experiences as a president of Eagle Access, and the National Association of Black Journalists. She also serves as a mentor in one of the campus’ mentorship programs named Eagle Alliances. Baxter joined the cheerleading team in August 2015 after cheering for all four years of high school at Hopewell High School in Huntersville, North Carolina. On this team, she served as one of the captains which likewise well-prepared her for her position as a captain on her collegiate cheerleading team.
Baxter also runs a YouTube channel highlighting topics such as make-up, NCCU student life, and NCCU campus news. Running two highly recommended student media organizations, volunteering with the theatre department, while studying Mass Communication can be stressful but she balances it and gives back to her school through media.
Carryngton Walton, 22, is a Senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro studying Consumer Apparel, Retail Studies and Business. From Tampa Fl, she is the influencer behind @thepnkc she also is the founder of @pwiblackstudents and @pwigreeks; two social media outlets for young entrepreneurs, looking to collaborate and network wiith other students from around the world. Carryngton carries a sociable personality, along with brilliant intellect, business savy, and a love for poetry and writing. Be sure to watch out for a new Poetry/Music Project in the near future in collaborations with D. Shawn & Soul!